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[P]
World Cup 2006: A Preview

By Timo Laine in Culture
Sat Jun 03, 2006 at 12:00:00 PM EST
Tags: sports, soccer, football (all tags)

The football World Cup is starting on 9 June. It is Germany’s turn to host the event, and there are 32 teams from six continents participating. After 63 matches, the final takes place in Berlin on 9 July.


The Favorites

It will be a surprise if Brazil do not win the competition. There are many good teams participating, but this year Brazil has a squad that will be hard to beat. An indication of this is that the brightest star of the Brazilian side is not Real Madrid’s Ronaldo, the two time World Cup winner and three time World Player of the Year. That distinction goes instead to Ronaldinho, an embodiment of the Brazilian football culture. Even if you do not even know the rules of the game, it is easy to recognize the talent of the Barcelona playmaker. It is not just his outstanding technical skill or his boundless imagination and creativity, but the joyful ease with which he controls the ball.

But to succeed in a tournament like this, one player, no matter how good, is not enough. Luckily for the Brazilians, they have plenty, and they know how to play together. But what about the defense? With the Milan goalkeeper Dida protecting the net, they do not have to worry about conceding easy goals. Two typically Brazilian issues, the clumsy central defenders and the full backs too eager to join the attack, may also have been solved. At least Cafu on the right and Roberto Carlos on the left cannot blame their mistakes on the inexperience of youth.

The Challengers

In the last decade, the only obstacle to Brazilian dominance has been France. The greatest achievements of this footballing generation—victories in the 1998 World Cup and the Euro 2000—are however already in the past. They will want everyone to forget their scandalously impotent performance in 2002, but unless the new generation is ready to take control, they will have difficulty. A lot depends on whether or not they can put to use the powers of a certain Thierry Henry, a perfect footballer.

Any team gets a boost from the cheers of the home crowd. In 2002, the supporters carried the South Korean team all the way to the bronze match. Germany, although now lacking the brightest kind of star in their squad, have regularly done well in the World Cup. They do not have any specific weaknesses, and the home tournament could prove to be just the thing Michael Ballack needs to achieve legendary status.

Personal favorites of the author, the Italians are only too familiar with the question they face: “But who will score the goals?” Traditionally relying on an ultra-defensive strategy, the Italians’ style of play is still somewhat conservative. But they will still be likely to create plenty of goalscoring opportunities for their strikers, and if the new kids Luca Toni and Alberto Gilardino are able to deliver, Italy may go far.

Like in 2002, England is worried. Four years ago, the epitome of glamor in football, David Beckham, was injured just months before the tournament. Manchester United’s Wayne Rooney, the “new Pel”, is now in a similar situation. Beckham did get to play in 2002, but Ronaldinho put an end to the British campaign with a famous free kick. England have a good team with or without Rooney, but they do need the inspiration of their young forward.

The main South American rival of Brazil is Argentina. Although always strong, this year the two-time winners of the competition seem to have few stars of the highest level. Still, Juan Romn Riquelme with his teammates are obviously one of the favorites to win. The youngster Lionel Messi is one of the players to watch, even if at 18 his best games are still ahead.

The Netherlands, like always, have sent a solid group of players to the World Cup. With a little bit of luck they could win it: Ruud van Nistelrooy is one of the most feared forwards in today’s game, and he has behind him one of the most creative group of midfielders in the tournament. The Dutch team is a perfect combination of experience and youth.

In addition to the ones already mentioned, there are a few teams it would be surprising but not a shock to see win the tournament. In particular Portugal, Spain and the Czech Republic all have potential. None of these teams have ever won the World Cup. Personally one of the most important reason why I do not consider Spain a favorite is their miserable history in the competition. The Spanish league is one of the best in the world and they have never had a shortage of quality players. Still, the best result they have achieved is fourth place—in 1950.

The Surprise?

The World Cup always brings a surprise or two. Very few dared to suggest that both Turkey and South Korea would reach the semifinals in 2002. Greece were not exactly the favorites to win Euro 2004 either, and yet they did.

Both Korea and Japan gave strong performances in 2002. Still, this time away from home soil, it is an open question how far they will go.

Since Cameroon beat the reigning champions Argentina in the opening match of the 1990 World Cup and kept on going to play a wonderful tournament, everyone has been anticipating an African team to reach the final stages of the Cup. In 1994 and 1998 people watched Nigeria. In 2002, Senegal and Cameroon looked pretty strong. This time none of these countries qualified for the tournament. Of the African teams in Germany, Cte d’Ivoire in particular with Chelsea’s brilliant Didier Drogba appears to have some potential.

There have been some specific obstacles to African success in the past. Cameroon in 1990 would have done even better with a bit more disciplined team play. Many African teams have struggled trying to find good players for all areas of the game; for example, a strong midfield and dangerous strikers do not make up for a mediocre goalkeeper.

Ukraine have a few things going for them. Actually, two: Andriy Shevchenko and Serhiy Rebrov. Playing for Dynamo Kyiv in the 1990s, the two strikers were unstoppable. Shevchenko went on to build a glorious career in Milan and is considered perhaps the best forward in the game today. Things did not go so well for Rebrov, but he is enjoying a comeback in Kyiv. If they still remember how they did it for Dynamo, the opponents’ defenders are going to have their hands full with these two.

Sweden is the sole representative of Northern Europe, and favorites to qualify from their group alongside England. They have a tradition of playing well as a team, and with players like the Arsenal winger Freddie Ljungberg and Juventus forward Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Sweden are not lacking in individual talent either.

Finally, the US have one of the teams whose matches I am personally anticipating the most. The only team playing soccer instead of football, their performances in the World Cup have been uneven, but when everything goes well, there are few teams they cannot beat. They also tend to play attractive football, occasionally resulting in high-scoring matches.

Games to Watch

Obviously, if you are only going to watch a single match, wait for the final. Still, the final is never the most entertaining match in the tournament. It is difficult to tell in advance what is going to be the match of the tournament. High-tension matches with two good teams can result equally well in lots of goals and excitement and in a goalless draw. A team with a spectator-friendly, attacking style of play can find all their efforts stifled by their opponents’ defensive tactics.

The favorites Brazil rarely disappoint. They are not just successful, they are also fun to watch. Germany, although not most famous for entertaining football, are likely to offer inspired performances in their own tournament. The style of Cte d’Ivoire and other teams from Africa leaves lots of room for individual creativity. Japan and Korea should not be overlooked either.

Although the best teams come face to face only after the group stage, there are a few matches with plenty of tension. Groups C and E are considered the “groups of death”, with no team having the luxury of an easy qualification. Netherlands-Argentina on 21 June and Czech Republic-Italy on 22 June promise to be exciting, particularly if no team has by then secured their place on the second round.

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Poll
Who will win?
o Brazil 25%
o France 5%
o Germany 16%
o Italy 3%
o England 16%
o Argentina 1%
o The Netherlands 5%
o None of these 25%

Votes: 59
Results | Other Polls

Related Links
o World Cup
o Brazil
o France
o Germany
o Italians
o England
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o Netherland s
o Portugal
o Spain
o Czech Republic
o Korea
o Japan
o Cte d’Ivoire
o Ukraine
o Sweden
o US
o BBC Sport coverage
o ESPN coverage
o The World Cup at Wikipedia
o Also by Timo Laine


Display: Sort:
World Cup 2006: A Preview | 242 comments (178 topical, 64 editorial, 5 hidden)
Germany will win (2.18 / 11) (#1)
by RelliK on Sat Jun 03, 2006 at 01:25:11 PM EST

Germany has a 2 things going for them: a very good team to begin with (took 2nd place last time) and home turf. That gives them about 90% chance to win. You are underestimating their potential.
---
Under capitalism man exploits man, under communism it's just the opposite.
Germany (2.00 / 6) (#3)
by Timo Laine on Sat Jun 03, 2006 at 01:42:54 PM EST

I do think Germany has a good chance of winning. But 90%? Most people consider Brazil the obvious favorite, and the home turf is not by itself a guarantee of success. Further, to elaborate on what I wrote in the story, Ballack is good but he's no Ronaldinho. Klose is fine but no Shevchenko.

I said that it is a surprise if Brazil don't win. But I think that even they only have a 30% chance of winning. I wonder if I should rewrite that sentence?

[ Parent ]

I think the odds are more like 50% (1.75 / 4) (#34)
by tetsuwan on Sun Jun 04, 2006 at 06:27:37 AM EST

tha Brazil wins. No other team has more than 15% chance.

Good work on the story!

Njal's Saga: Just like Romeo & Juliet without the romance
[ Parent ]

hey timo laine (none / 1) (#123)
by yaksox on Mon Jun 05, 2006 at 04:48:03 AM EST

you're not that abc (australia) sports reporter, tim laine, by any chance?
zombie n. 3. One who looks or behaves like an automaton.
[ Parent ]
Unfortunately not (none / 1) (#124)
by Timo Laine on Mon Jun 05, 2006 at 04:57:59 AM EST

And as far as I know, I don't have any relatives in Australia either. :-)

[ Parent ]
Home turf (1.00 / 3) (#16)
by curien on Sat Jun 03, 2006 at 05:59:37 PM EST

It's not quite foreign soil for the US. Kaiserslautern, where we play Italy, is home to the largest population of Americans outside the US. I know plenty of folks who have tickets to the games, particularly here in K-town and in Munich. I watched our exhibition win over Poland, but alas I'll be away for the Italy match.

Oh, and we totally let Germany win their exhibition against us.

--
I'm directly under the Earth's sun ... ... now!
[ Parent ]

i'll bite. (1.66 / 3) (#28)
by aphrael on Sun Jun 04, 2006 at 03:55:50 AM EST

do you have a cite for the claim that kaiserslautern is home to the largest expat US population?

and do you have an explanation for why that would be so?

given the enormous number of americans living in london and prague, i find it unlikely to be true.

[ Parent ]

NATO base (1.75 / 8) (#32)
by Hana Yori Dango on Sun Jun 04, 2006 at 05:23:30 AM EST

there's a huge US troop concentration there. From wikipedia
Kaiserslautern is home to 99,469 people, plus approximately 30,000 NATO military personnel (mainly American) and their families, who call the city K-Town due to its difficult pronunciation in English.


[ Parent ]
not to mention (1.57 / 7) (#22)
by army of phred on Sat Jun 03, 2006 at 08:44:51 PM EST

they're the master race.

"Republicans are evil." lildebbie
"I have no fucking clue what I'm talking about." motormachinemercenary
"my wife is getting a blowjob" ghostoft1ber
[ Parent ]
You know what they say. (none / 1) (#202)
by ksandstr on Wed Jun 07, 2006 at 11:30:06 AM EST

"Soccer is a game where 22 people are running after a ball and Germany wins in the end".

Fin.
[ Parent ]
Oh really now? (none / 1) (#235)
by jd87 on Tue Jun 20, 2006 at 06:22:45 PM EST

I'm sure you are aware, sir, that 76% of all statistics are made up.

jd87: Now with 100% more content!
[ Parent ]
does iraq have a team???? (2.40 / 10) (#2)
by pheco on Sat Jun 03, 2006 at 01:29:16 PM EST



(@rzarecta) don't piss on my leg and call it spit
Yes (2.25 / 8) (#8)
by Timo Laine on Sat Jun 03, 2006 at 02:30:32 PM EST

But they did not qualify for the World Cup. Playing in the preliminaries in the same group with Uzbekistan, Palestine and the Chinese Taipei, they came second after Uzbekistan. As far as I can remember, they were very good in the Olympics, though.

[ Parent ]
The reason they didnt qualify... (1.16 / 6) (#15)
by lamppter on Sat Jun 03, 2006 at 05:48:06 PM EST

was because they were insurgents and blew themselves up into pizza toppings.

Naive Bayes Classification and K5 Dupes
[ Parent ]
No, it's because they lost their manager (1.60 / 5) (#66)
by MrHanky on Sun Jun 04, 2006 at 02:40:55 PM EST

Uday Hussein may have been an obnoxious brat, but he sure knew how to treat lazy footballers:
He was sent into exile in Geneva, but returned to take direct charge of the Iraqi football team's attempt to qualify for the 1994 World Cup in the United States. But there were reports that Uday had football players humiliated, beaten and tortured for playing badly or after losing critical matches. Fifa, international football's governing body, launched an investigation, and said later it had found no evidence of torture. But last year, one of the country's star players, Sharar Haydar Mohaad al Hadithi, told the Sunday Times newspaper that he had undergone torture ordered by Uday.
Source.


"This was great, because it was a bunch of mature players who were able to express themselves and talk politics." Lettuce B-Free, on being a total fucking moron for Ron Paul.
[ Parent ]
Fuck the World Cup (1.35 / 17) (#4)
by Patrick Chalmers on Sat Jun 03, 2006 at 01:45:15 PM EST

OK, so I downloaded a copy of The Police's album Zenyatta Mondatta, and it's pretty good. (I'd give it, like, 7/10; the first five songs are all really good, but the rest of the album, especially the instrumentals, doesn't stand up to them.) Is it worth getting the Message in a Box boxset of all their albums plus rarities, or should I stick with what I got? Or should I get one more album?
Holy crap, working comment search!
Fuck The Police nt (2.50 / 14) (#19)
by driptray on Sat Jun 03, 2006 at 07:40:32 PM EST


--
We brought the disasters. The alcohol. We committed the murders. - Paul Keating
[ Parent ]
And fuck YOU! [nt] (1.28 / 7) (#33)
by Patrick Chalmers on Sun Jun 04, 2006 at 05:36:24 AM EST


Holy crap, working comment search!
[ Parent ]
That brings back memories (2.00 / 3) (#56)
by shm on Sun Jun 04, 2006 at 01:51:00 PM EST

I've not heard The Police for almost 20 years. (I have an LP of ZM in a box somewhere.)

Next thing you'll be talking about Mike Oldfield, Jean-Michel Jarre and that those Tangerine Dream dudes.

And this has exactly what to do with soccer? (Not that I mind; soccer is for those with a ball complex.)

[ Parent ]

This is totally offtopic... (3.00 / 2) (#159)
by Cowculator on Mon Jun 05, 2006 at 02:31:02 PM EST

but I think Reggatta de Blanc is their best album.  Try that one out and see what you think.

[ Parent ]
If you don't like the instrumentals... (2.00 / 2) (#176)
by haflinger on Mon Jun 05, 2006 at 10:17:33 PM EST

You probably don't dig the slow stuff too much. So I wouldn't recommend Regatta de Blanc. Try Outlandos d'Amour or Ghost in the Machine.

I spent way too much of my teenage years listening to the Police. The Famous Album is Synchronicity, which I believe still holds the record for most weeks at #1 on Billboard's album sales chart.

Did people from the future send George Carlin back in time to save rusty and K5? - leviramsey
[ Parent ]

In these post September 11th times (1.32 / 25) (#5)
by In These Post September 11th Times on Sat Jun 03, 2006 at 01:56:40 PM EST

It is important to remember that soccer is a sport that only sissy european metrosexuals play and/or enjoy.

What's 'soccer'? nt (none / 1) (#229)
by Comrade Wonderful on Thu Jun 15, 2006 at 10:05:15 AM EST



[ Parent ]
Soccer... (2.00 / 3) (#231)
by Fred_A on Fri Jun 16, 2006 at 03:41:16 PM EST

After a bit of research, it would appear that the US people have renamed their armoured rugby game "football". That's because it's played on foot (as opposed to be played in tanks as it used to be).

To avoid complications, they then renamed football "soccer", so called, apparently, because players wear socks and shoes (instead of the stainless steel spiked boots the armoured rugby players used to favour).

A lot of renaming has been going on over there through the years it seems. I don't know if the locals are aware of it.

Fred in Paris
[ Parent ]

i hope argentina wins (2.45 / 11) (#6)
by Tex Bigballs on Sat Jun 03, 2006 at 02:03:22 PM EST

when i had fox sports world the argentina national matches were fun to watch... the players are really high strung and the fans were crazy... half the matches ended with the police in full riot gear tossing tear gas into the stands

null sports crap (1.10 / 20) (#9)
by somaudlin2 on Sat Jun 03, 2006 at 02:34:03 PM EST

News at -11. MtVVtD (Move to Vote Vote to Dump)

HINTS... (1.04 / 25) (#14)
by lamppter on Sat Jun 03, 2006 at 05:44:45 PM EST

  1. Most users of this site aren't interested in soccer/"football" including me. (Sorry)
  2. IF you'd like to interest us, then write an article ABOUT soccer and get us interested.
  3. Most USians think soccer is for little kids and football is another sport altogether.


Naive Bayes Classification and K5 Dupes
I hate football. (2.42 / 7) (#35)
by mr strange on Sun Jun 04, 2006 at 07:27:54 AM EST

But I hate Americans even more.

intrigued by your idea that fascism is feminine - livus
[ Parent ]
World Cup 2006: A Preview (1.44 / 25) (#21)
by circletimessquare on Sat Jun 03, 2006 at 08:20:12 PM EST

lots of europeans being racist

The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

Most Eurons think they are above racism... (1.33 / 6) (#49)
by lamppter on Sun Jun 04, 2006 at 12:07:39 PM EST

and usually they are wrong. They tend to bury racism and critisize others about it. Rather two-faced in my opinion.

Naive Bayes Classification and K5 Dupes
[ Parent ]
Eurons ?!?!? (1.33 / 3) (#64)
by werebear on Sun Jun 04, 2006 at 02:35:19 PM EST

'Eurons' ?!

I bet you think you are above over generalising about an entire continent full of millions of individuals as well.

Rather two faced in my opinion ;)

[ Parent ]

Euron==European Morons (nt) (1.25 / 4) (#72)
by lamppter on Sun Jun 04, 2006 at 03:18:41 PM EST



Naive Bayes Classification and K5 Dupes
[ Parent ]
Pot ... meet kettle (2.50 / 6) (#55)
by werebear on Sun Jun 04, 2006 at 01:43:57 PM EST

"lots of europeans being racist"

Run that sentence through your mind again and see if you can spot a *tiny* problem there. You are trying to offensively generalise about an entire continent full of individuals. Not quite racism but a near neighbour.

Pot ... meet kettle.

[ Parent ]

no, it's the truth (1.20 / 5) (#79)
by circletimessquare on Sun Jun 04, 2006 at 04:07:48 PM EST

Surge in Racist Mood Raises Concerns on Eve of World Cup

June 4, 2006
Surge in Racist Mood Raises Concerns on Eve of World Cup
By JERE LONGMAN
HAMBURG, Germany, June 3 -- As he left the soccer field after a club match in the eastern German city of Halle on March 25, the Nigerian forward Adebowale Ogungbure was spit upon, jeered with racial remarks and mocked with monkey noises. In rebuke, he placed two fingers under his nose to simulate a Hitler mustache and thrust his arm in a Nazi salute.

In April, the American defender Oguchi Onyewu, playing for his professional club team in Belgium, dismissively gestured toward fans who were making simian chants at him. Then, as he went to throw the ball inbounds, Onyewu said a fan of the opposing team reached over a barrier and punched him in the face.

International soccer has been plagued for years by violence among fans, including racial incidents. But FIFA, soccer's Zurich-based world governing body, said there has been a recent surge in discriminatory behavior toward blacks by fans and other players, an escalation that has dovetailed with the signing of more players from Africa and Latin America by elite European clubs.

This "deplorable trend," as FIFA has called it, now threatens to embarrass the sport on its grandest stage, the World Cup, which opens June 9 for a monthlong run in 12 cities around Germany. More than 30 billion cumulative television viewers are expected to watch part of the competition and Joseph S. Blatter, FIFA's president, has vowed to crack down on racist behavior during the tournament.

Underlining FIFA's concerns, the issue has been included on the agenda at its biannual Congress, scheduled to be held this week in Munich. A campaign against bigotry includes "Say No to Racism" stadium banners, television commercials, and team captains making pregame speeches during the quarterfinals of the 32-team tournament.

Players, coaches and officials have been threatened with sanctions. But FIFA has said it would not be practical to use the harshest penalties available to punish misbehaving fans -- halting matches, holding games in empty stadiums and deducting points that teams receive for victories and ties.

Players and antiracism experts said they expected offensive behavior during the tournament, including monkey-like chanting; derisive singing; the hanging of banners that reflect neofascist and racist beliefs; and perhaps the tossing of bananas or banana peels, all familiar occurrences during matches in Spain, Italy, eastern Germany and eastern Europe.

"For us it's quite clear this is a reflection of underlying tensions that exist in European societies," said Piara Powar, director of the London-based antiracist soccer organization Kick It Out. He said of Eastern Europe: "Poverty, unemployment, is a problem. Indigenous people are looking for easy answers to blame. Often newcomers bear the brunt of the blame."

Yet experts and players also said they believed the racist behavior would be more constrained at the World Cup than it was during play in various domestic leagues around Europe, because of increased security, the international makeup of the crowds, higher ticket prices and a sense that spectators would be generally well behaved on soccer's grandest stage.

"We have to differentiate inside and outside the stadium," said Kurt Wachter, project coordinator for the Vienna-based Football Against Racism in Europe, a network of organizations that seeks to fight bigotry and xenophobia in 35 countries.

"Racism is a feature of many football leagues inside and outside Europe," said Wachter, who expects most problems to occur outside stadiums where crowds are less controlled. "We're sure we will see some things we're used to seeing. It won't stop because of the World Cup."

Particularly worrisome are the possibilities of attacks by extremist groups on spectators and visitors in train stations, bars, restaurants and open areas near the stadiums, Wachter and other experts said. To promote tolerance, he said his organization would organize street soccer matches outside World Cup stadiums.

Recent attacks in the eastern Germany city of Potsdam on an Ethiopian-born engineer and in eastern Berlin on a state lawmaker of Turkish descent, along with a government report showing an increase in right-wing violence, have ignited fears that even sporadic hate crimes and other intolerant behavior could mar the World Cup, whose embracing motto is A Time to Make Friends.

Far-right extremism is isolated on the fringe of German society, and the German government has intended to confront its Nazi past while preaching openness and tolerance. Germany has one of the world's lowest rates of violent crime. Still, an immigrant group called the Africa Council said it would publish a "No Go" guide for nonwhites during the World Cup, particularly for some areas of eastern Berlin and for surrounding towns of the state of Brandenburg.

In mid-May, a former government spokesman, Uwe-Karsten Heye, caused a furor when he tried to assist visitors by advising that anyone "with a different skin color" avoid visiting small and midsize towns in Brandenburg and elsewhere in eastern Germany, or they "may not leave with their lives."

These remarks received blunt criticism from high-ranking German officials. Wolfgang Schäuble, the minister of the interior, said there were no areas in which World Cup visitors should feel threatened, calling Germany "one of the safest places in the world."

Angela Merkel, Germany's chancellor, has warned that "anybody who threatens, attacks or, worse, kills anybody because of the color of his skin or because he comes from another country will face the full force of the law."

The Bundesliga in Germany is one of the world's top professional soccer leagues, and has not experienced widespread racism. Incidents involving racial abuse of black players are more prevalent in semiprofessional and amateur leagues in eastern Germany. One of the cities playing host to the World Cup, Leipzig, is in the former East Germany. Another, Berlin, was partly in East Germany.

After making a Nazi salute, which is illegal in Germany, Ogungbure of Nigeria was investigated by the authorities. But a charge of unconstitutional behavior against him was soon dropped because his gesture had been meant to renounce extremist activity.

"I regret what I did," Ogungbure said in a telephone interview from Leipzig. "I should have walked away. I'm a professional, but I'm a human, too. They don't spit on dogs. Why should they spit on me? I felt like a nobody."

Gerald Asamoah, a forward on Germany's World Cup team and a native of Ghana, has been recounting an incident in the 1990's when he was pelted with bananas before a club match in Cottbus. "I'll never forget that," he said in a television interview. "It's like we're not people." He has expressed anger and sadness over a banner distributed by a right-wing group that admonished, "No Gerald, You Are Not Germany."

Cory Gibbs, an American defender who formerly played professionally in Germany, said there were restaurants and nightclubs in eastern Germany -- and even around Hamburg in the west -- where he was told "You're not welcome" because he was black.

"I think racism is everywhere," said Gibbs, who will miss the World Cup because of a knee injury. "But I feel in Germany racism is a lot more direct."

Racist behavior at soccer matches is primarily displayed by men and is fueled by several factors, according to experts: alcohol; the perceived "us versus them" threat of multiculturalism in societies that were once more ethnically homogenous; the difficult economic transition of eastern European nations since the fall of the Berlin Wall; and crude attempts to unnerve opposing players during bitter, consuming rivalries.

Other observers say that the soccer stadium in Europe has become a communal soapbox, one of the few remaining public spaces where spectators can be outrageous and where political correctness does not exist and is even discouraged.

"Nowhere else other than football do people meet someplace and have a stage for shouting things as an anonymous mass," said Gerd Dembowski, director of a Berlin-based antiracist organization called Floodlight. "You can shout things you would never say in your normal life, let out your frustrations."

Not all the misbehavior can be traced to fans or to Europe. Players and coaches have also been transgressors.

Luis Aragonés, Spain's World Cup coach, was fined in 2004 after making racial remarks about the French star Thierry Henry. In March, in the Brazilian league, the defender Antonio Carlos was suspended for 120 days, and 4 additional matches, after an incident in which he shouted "monkey" at an opposing player who was black. But it was an incident in Spain on Feb. 25 that galvanized antiracist sentiment and prodded FIFA into taking a tougher stand against bigoted behavior. That match, in Zaragoza, was temporarily halted in the 77th minute by the referee, who threatened to cancel the remaining 13 minutes after Samuel Eto'o, the star forward for Barcelona, was subjected to a chorus of racial taunts. Eto'o threatened to leave the field. His coach and teammates eventually persuaded him to continue, and last month Barcelona won the European Champions Cup.

Eto'o has become one of the sport's most outspoken players on the subject of racism. "I'll continue to play," Eto'o, whose national team, Cameroon, did not qualify for the World Cup, said this week through his agent. "I'm not going to give up and hide and put my head down. I'll score goals against the teams whose fans are making rude noises."

Under pressure to curb what it acknowledged was an increase in racist incidents, FIFA in late March announced a stricter set of penalties that would apply for club and national team matches. The sanctions would include suspensions of five matches for players and officials who make discriminatory gestures, fines of $16,600 to $25,000 for each offense and two-year stadium bans for offending spectators. It also said teams, which receive 3 points in the standings for a victory, would have 3 points deducted on a first offense by misbehaving players, officials or fans.

Blatter, the FIFA president, told reporters that the 3-point deduction for abhorrent fan behavior would apply during the World Cup, then backed away from his comments in April. Blatter declined to comment for this article. And it remains unclear exactly what penalties will be levied against World Cup teams for offensive behavior by fans, coaches and players.

Nicolas Maingot, a FIFA spokesman, said World Cup sanctions would be made public later. But in an e-mail response to questions, he said: "Only racist abuses in the field of play will be punished. For fans, it will be impossible, due to the multinationality of the audience. In other words, it would be impossible to identify from which side would potential racist abusers come."

Critics counter that spectators are supposed to have their names on their tickets, so identifying offending fans should be relatively easy.

Onyewu, the American defender who was punched by an opposing fan in Belgium, said the man was identified through an anonymous tip and was barred from attending matches for two years. He said he did not retaliate because he believed that racist behavior reflected acts of a minority of fans.

"I'm anticipating a more professional environment in Germany because it's the World Cup," Onyewu said. Even so, he said, although antiracist efforts could restrict public behavior, "that's only helping the exterior."

He added, "The interior mind thinking, you can't really change that."



The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]
I take your point but .... (2.60 / 5) (#93)
by werebear on Sun Jun 04, 2006 at 05:36:37 PM EST

I take your point, and this behaviour is of course utterly deplorable.

The (kinda sad) thing is at least in the UK this used to be 'normal' but is slowly being stamped out. Probably too slowly, but things have actually progressed (a bit) in the last 50 years.

I'm certainly not wanting to be any kind of apologist for racism. However I'm optimistic in that nowadays (a) these incidents get reported (b) something gets done about it. I disagree - I think the 'interior mind thinking' of people is changing ... but won't all get there for another few generations.

Eastern Germany does have a bit of a reputation as your article mentions. The overwhelming majority are nice everyday people - sadly the exceptions as everywhere are the ones you hear about
(Although just after the wall came down my parents were once kicked out of an East german resteraunt  simply for being British - a sort of reverse Basil Fawlty sketch - although it should definately be recorded that several German couples there walked out in protest at this).


[ Parent ]

i got your basil fawlty right here ;-) (1.00 / 4) (#120)
by circletimessquare on Mon Jun 05, 2006 at 04:10:00 AM EST

It's Springtime for Soccer, and for Rowdy England Fans

June 2, 2006
London Journal
It's Springtime for Soccer, and for Rowdy England Fans
By SARAH LYALL
LONDON, June 1 -- They have been warned, as always, not to rampage through the streets, destroying things and attacking people. But as England's soccer fans prepare to visit Germany for the World Cup this month, another item has been added to their long "verboten" list: Don't mention the war.

"It's not a joke," Charles Clarke, then the home secretary, warned at a pre-World Cup briefing earlier this spring. "It is not a comic thing to do. It is totally insulting and wrong."

That means, basically, no getting drunk and goose-stepping in a would-be humorous manner. No Nazi salutes. No shouting "Sieg Heil!" at the referees. No impromptu finger-under-the-nose Hitler mustaches.

"Doing mock Nazi salutes or fake impersonations of Hitler -- that's actually against the law in Germany," Andrin Cooper, a spokesman for the Football Association, which administers English soccer, said in an interview.

Even something as simple as wearing an ersatz German war helmet could violate German laws against inciting hatred and glorifying extremism, Mr. Clarke said at the briefing.

"The reason why the German Parliament passed these laws was because the era we are talking about was one of total horror and destruction in Germany," he continued. "Anyone who thinks it's entertaining to get involved in this sort of thing, I absolutely urge them not to do so."

The authorities in both countries have developed elaborate programs to ensure that England's fans behave themselves in Germany when the competition begins June 9. Some 3,200 people with histories of violence and hooliganism have been required to surrender their passports and are forbidden to leave Britain during the tournament.

Dozens of British officers are being dispatched to Germany to help keep order. Some English players have recorded advertisements exhorting the fans to respect their hosts, and fans' groups have arranged various communal activities with their German counterparts. One group plans to visit Auschwitz.

Getting the English to refrain from obnoxious references to World War II should be easy enough. The war ended more than 60 years ago. The Germans themselves seem to have moved on. Even Europe, with its history of chronic internecine conflict, has pulled itself together and found a common purpose, at least theoretically, in the European Union.

But for some perverse reason -- intellectual laziness; the tendency of British schools to teach German history through the prism of the Nazi era; a yearning for a simpler time, when Britain had an empire and a clear set of enemies -- many England fans seem stubbornly unable to let go of Germany's past.

"There's clearly more than 100 years of martial conflict between the two nations, and sport has a nasty habit of mixing up events off the pitch with events on the pitch," Matthew Perryman, a spokesman for the official England fans' club, said in an interview. (Pitch is English, real English, for soccer field.)

This obsession manifests itself in ways that are funny, infantile or offensive, depending on perspective.

During Germany-England matches, for instance, the fans like to sing the theme from "The Dam Busters," a 1954 film about how English bombers destroyed German dams during the war. Employing accompanying hand gestures, they perform a song called "Ten German Bombers," the upshot of which is that all the airmen are shot down.

They also shout "Stand up if you won the war!" and "Two world wars and one World Cup!" at the German fans. The second is a reference to the last (and only) time England won the World Cup, in 1966.

Perhaps the British are jealous of Germany's general postwar success.

"German supporters would be within their rights to respond 'Twice as many hospital beds and three times as many World Cups,' " or, alternatively, "Higher G.D.P. per capita than you," Paul Hayward wrote some years ago in The Daily Telegraph, in an earlier incarnation of the same debate.

Mr. Perryman suggested that there are plenty of non-Nazi-related ways to irritate the Germans, including bringing up England's 5-1 defeat of Germany in 2001, an incident that at the time inspired several British newspapers to use the headline "Don't Mention the Score."

"You know our joke in Germany," Mr. Perryman related, chuckling. " 'What time is it? Five to one!' "

Soccer-related Teutoniphobia does seem to reflect the resentments, fears and prejudices of society at large.

This is a country where Prince Harry, the queen's grandson, dressed as a Nazi officer at a costume party last year. It is a country where The Daily Mirror, reporting on the 1996 European soccer championships, used the headline "Achtung, Surrender!"

It is also the place where, in 2004, Richard Desmond, owner of the Express Newspaper group, greeted executives from the Telegraph Group, then facing a possible takeover by a German company, by saying "Guten Morgen" in a German accent.

As the executives looked on, agape, Mr. Desmond then asked them whether they were looking forward to being "run by Nazis." He swore and shouted at them, and goose-stepped around the room, emulating a Hitler mustache with his finger.

Britain's awkwardness on the subject was lampooned most famously in a television episode of "Fawlty Towers," when Basil Fawlty, the hotelier played by John Cleese, tries to attend to a group of German guests after suffering a concussion.

"Don't mention the war," he tells his staff, even as he descends into a xenophobic frenzy, repeating the Germans' lunch order of a prawn cocktail, pickled herring and four cold meat salads as "a prawn Goebbels, a Hermann Göring and four Colditz salads," and then high-kicking his way around the dining room, à la Hitler.

"So it's all forgotten and let's hear no more about it!" he says of Germany's wartime past. But somehow, he keeps bringing it up. When the Germans ask him to stop, Basil says that they started it.

"We did not start it," one says.

"Yes, you did," he replies. "You invaded Poland."

Mr. Perryman, the fan club spokesman, noted that Mr. Cleese was making fun of English attitudes -- not of Germany.

"The argument we've been having with the fans is, 'If you want to go to Germany and all you want to do is sing "The Dam Busters" and "Ten German Bombers" and the rest of it, then don't be surprised if you're not the most welcome guest at the party.' "



The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]
moronic (2.66 / 3) (#168)
by hesk on Mon Jun 05, 2006 at 04:14:44 PM EST

"recent surge" in violent/racist behaviour != lots of europeans

Secondly, to everybody here who is denouncing soccer because of the behaviour of fringe groups or questions the importance of an event like the world cup, I say this:  Soccer is played by millions of people all over the world.  It's trivially easy, you just need a ball and a playing field.  I wager that every kid has played soccer in his life and that it's the team sport that is played the most world wide.

My point is that despite violent behaviour by some fans and dubious xenophobic roots of team-fan identification (which I find debatable), the world cup is a unifying event.

It is, of course, also a huge commercial spectical, unfortunately.  Berlin is littered with bannars and posters.  Oh well, nothing is black or white.

--
Sticking to the rules doesn't improve your safety, relying on the rules is
[
Parent ]

i know (none / 1) (#234)
by usr on Mon Jun 19, 2006 at 07:10:36 PM EST

i know i share my love for this game with, for example, millions of people from the arab world.

what do you know you have in common with them?

besides phyiscal properties like having arms and legs and being produced by sexual reproduction?

[ Parent ]

followed by inane postings that derail discussions (2.33 / 3) (#209)
by quino on Wed Jun 07, 2006 at 03:16:15 PM EST

Yeah, it's a problem, but the only reason you know about it is because FIFA is making a big deal.

Additionally, to echo someone else who mentioned this to you already, it's a hollow comment to make.  I'd like to add: Mexicans being racist.  Phillipinos being racist.  Chinese being racist.  Africans being racist.  Ad nauseum.  What's more, they're not doing anything about racism in the Philipines, nor in Mexico, nor in China, nor in just about any African country.  They are, at least, some groups in Europe belly aching about racism.  You should be singing their praises and wondering why most other places don't even recognize how much institutional racism exists elsewhere.

Study a bit of history of any country/ethnic group (just a smidge!)

You're naive if you think it's a "European" problem.  If you're worldy/well read/introspective enough to realize that it's not a "European problem", then why pollute the discussion with your post?  It's little more substantive than static.

In fact, I'm new to Kuro5hin, but right now I'd be willing to wager I just fed a troll.  

Damn you circletimesquare you ugly troll!

Now back to the World Cup Discussion! :)


[ Parent ]

I love World Cups (2.84 / 13) (#23)
by Talez on Sat Jun 03, 2006 at 11:05:07 PM EST

All of a sudden everyone is a soccer expert.

Si in Googlis non est, ergo non est
I'M NOT....the sport is only for 3rd world... (1.14 / 7) (#50)
by lamppter on Sun Jun 04, 2006 at 12:36:35 PM EST

racist countries. I decided that long ago when Guatemala and Honduras started a war over s soccer match, back in the 70s I think. Shooting marbles is more exciting with the exception of the great fights in the stadium.

For me that is what soccer is all about, thugs beating up on other thugs.

Naive Bayes Classification and K5 Dupes
[ Parent ]

That just shows how small minded... (none / 1) (#54)
by shambles on Sun Jun 04, 2006 at 01:33:15 PM EST

...and pig ignorant you really are.

Any game not played in the US is for third world countries, huh? You do know that there are other first world countries beside the US?

People are more important than Truth - Edgar Malroy
[ Parent ]
OK, and ALL THE RACISM DISPLAYED AT A (1.00 / 2) (#71)
by lamppter on Sun Jun 04, 2006 at 03:13:28 PM EST

soccer game isn't pig ignorant? And all the times people are killed by drunken stampeding thugs? Um yeah that is intelligence for sure.

Soccer; the game only a Neanderthal can love!

Naive Bayes Classification and K5 Dupes
[ Parent ]

Soccer--it's like football only less interesting (1.33 / 18) (#26)
by nostalgiphile on Sun Jun 04, 2006 at 12:42:04 AM EST

And less professional and civilized too. I mean, I swear to god, if I watch another crowd of UK soccer hooligans rioting I'm gonna puke. Learn to respect each other and be civilized, Europeans. Munich is a nice town and I'd hate to see it get all fucked up because a bunch of drunk scumbags had their panties in a wad over a stupid game.

"Depending on your perspective you are an optimist or a pessimist[,] and a hopeless one too." --trhurler
you forget the point of soccer (1.45 / 11) (#30)
by circletimessquare on Sun Jun 04, 2006 at 05:16:53 AM EST

going to soccer matches and getting drunk, belligerent and xenophobic serves as a replacement for war in euope

it's either all the behavior you hate about soccer, or another stupid war in europe that the rest of the world has to go and save them from themselves, yet again


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

I thought you supported (2.57 / 7) (#38)
by The Diary Section on Sun Jun 04, 2006 at 09:59:43 AM EST

starting stupid wars that the rest of the world has to get involved in?
Spend 10 minutes in the company of an American and you end up feeling like a Keats or a Shelley: Thin, brilliant, suave, and desperate for industrial-scale quantities of opium.
[ Parent ]
the glory of cause and effect (1.25 / 4) (#40)
by circletimessquare on Sun Jun 04, 2006 at 10:02:21 AM EST

iraq invades its neighbors --> saddam hussein needs to be removed

like

germany invades its neighbors --> adolph hitler needs to be removed

but in feeble minds:

iraq invaded --> for no good reason

i suppose according to you that germany was invaded in the 1940s just because the british and americans and russians were bored


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

Not really (2.50 / 4) (#41)
by The Diary Section on Sun Jun 04, 2006 at 10:24:44 AM EST

turns out they wouldn't leave Poland. If they'd left in 1939 by your logic we'd have been fully justified in invading Germany in 1950.

What do you care about Kuwait anyway? They treat their women like shit (at the time they were invaded, no right not to be beaten up by their husbands, no vote, no right to own property) far worse than in Iraq, they aren't a democracy and their laws are relgion-based. Again, I thought you were in favour of invading countries to bring them better lives.
Spend 10 minutes in the company of an American and you end up feeling like a Keats or a Shelley: Thin, brilliant, suave, and desperate for industrial-scale quantities of opium.
[ Parent ]

"What do you care about Kuwait anyway?" (1.50 / 2) (#44)
by circletimessquare on Sun Jun 04, 2006 at 11:53:21 AM EST

shit, with a moral compass like that, how can i argue with you?


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]
So you don't have any arguments then (2.25 / 4) (#45)
by The Diary Section on Sun Jun 04, 2006 at 11:56:23 AM EST

Or is there a top secret reason you don't think that the US should be sending 120,000 troops into Zimbabwe? That would be significantly more moral than Iraq. The people are treated far worse, the level of slaughter and brutality has been far higher.
Spend 10 minutes in the company of an American and you end up feeling like a Keats or a Shelley: Thin, brilliant, suave, and desperate for industrial-scale quantities of opium.
[ Parent ]
Actually don't bother (2.50 / 2) (#46)
by The Diary Section on Sun Jun 04, 2006 at 11:57:56 AM EST

Sorry I'm bored. I should come up with something a bit more original shouldn't I. Mea culpa.
Spend 10 minutes in the company of an American and you end up feeling like a Keats or a Shelley: Thin, brilliant, suave, and desperate for industrial-scale quantities of opium.
[ Parent ]
i got your answer on zimbabwe (1.66 / 3) (#47)
by circletimessquare on Sun Jun 04, 2006 at 12:00:22 PM EST

right here asshole


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]
someone should invade Zimbabwe, anyway (1.33 / 3) (#61)
by Delirium on Sun Jun 04, 2006 at 02:18:31 PM EST

The UN needs to get off its ass and start some credible world policing.

[ Parent ]
I think so too actually. <nt> (1.00 / 2) (#74)
by The Diary Section on Sun Jun 04, 2006 at 03:37:35 PM EST


Spend 10 minutes in the company of an American and you end up feeling like a Keats or a Shelley: Thin, brilliant, suave, and desperate for industrial-scale quantities of opium.
[ Parent ]
Um. (1.00 / 2) (#59)
by NoMoreNicksLeft on Sun Jun 04, 2006 at 02:05:19 PM EST

iraq invades its neighbors --> saddam hussein needs to be removed

Perhaps. It's still debatable whether or not we should be the world's policemen or not, and even a little fuzzy on whether or not Daddy Bush didn't disapprove of neighbor invading when his diplomats talked to our diplomats. Still, for the sake of the argument, let me concede on this one.

What we really have here is...

iraq was kicked out of its neighbors lands --> saddam hussein lost all of his ability to effectively threaten any nation in the region

So, now we aren't even the world's police. Rather, we are the world's judge and warden, to judge him and punish him for crimes committed a decade in the past. And we make up excuses about how he was involved in some terrorist attacks for which no sane person thinks he was even indirectly responsible for. And how he has teh nukes! And a bunch of other shit.

So, you see, your argument falls apart unless you are willing to concede that Daddy Bush failed it, and that Baby Bush only invaded because of some bullshit bravado about finishing what daddy started. Hardly a responsible use of the powers of presidency, especially when we have real threats leveled at us.

--
Do not look directly into laser with remaining good eye.
[ Parent ]

I think it went more like this (2.00 / 2) (#178)
by driptray on Mon Jun 05, 2006 at 11:09:20 PM EST

  1. Iraq invades neighbor (Iran) - nothing happens because Iraq is sponsored and supported by their ally, the US

  2. Iraq invades neighbor (Kuwait) - the UN liberates Kuwait and imposes sanctions on Iraq leaving it poor and defenceless

  3. Iraq invades nobody at all - the US invades it


--
We brought the disasters. The alcohol. We committed the murders. - Paul Keating
[ Parent ]
i know man (1.80 / 5) (#191)
by circletimessquare on Tue Jun 06, 2006 at 01:41:56 PM EST

menace in the world only flows from washington dc

nothing makes sense about anything that happens in the world unless it can be shown, somehow, however creatively and tenuously, to be the usa's fault

see, silly me, i'm not defending the usa, i'm just trying to look at the world as it is, neturally, not pro-usa, nor anti-usa

but of course, to do that, unless i blame EVERYTHING in the world on the usa, i MUST be the exact opposite: an imperialist colonialist neocon sucking dick cheney's cock and drinking oil from an iraqi child's skull

i mean the existence of a point of view of the world that doesn't love the usa AND doesn't hate the usa, at the same time, is a completely impossibility

i must be a neocon. i can't possibly be neutral. that's totally impossible

so don't worry about me man, i'm just really wacky, way out there

so there's no way to make sense of me: neutral to the usa? neither in love with nor hating itas a basis for a worldview?

ha! what nonsense!

we all know it's all about team sports, it has nothing to do with actual human principles, right?


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

Hypersensitive americans (none / 1) (#228)
by KaptajnKold on Wed Jun 14, 2006 at 10:35:21 PM EST

So, I've been reading a lot of your comments recently, circletimessquare...

First of all: I admire how actively you participate in some of these discussions. It's part of what makes this site interesting to read.

Secondly: What's up with your hyper-sensitivity about anything that can be interpreted as a critique of current or past US policies? You consistently act as if any such critique is an expression of outright hatred towards America, and refuse to engage in a civilized debate on whatever point the original poster was trying to make.

Point in case: How do you get from "Iran invades nobody at all - the US invades it" to "menace in the world flows only from washington dc"?

Do you claim that it is false that Iran invaded nobody at all? Do you claim that the current occupation of Iraq was a result of Iraq invading another country? What exactly did the grand parent write that you believe is false or that you disagree with?

/Kaptajn Kold. Trying to elevate the level of debate, but´propably just feeding the trolls...

[ Parent ]

good point... (2.00 / 3) (#43)
by lamppter on Sun Jun 04, 2006 at 11:52:55 AM EST

I think for that purpose soccer is well suited. I forgot about that.

Naive Bayes Classification and K5 Dupes
[ Parent ]
Who says we'd save them? (2.50 / 4) (#116)
by godix on Mon Jun 05, 2006 at 01:51:47 AM EST

If Europe got into yet another war that it couldn't handle by itself I suspect Americans would have the same reaction we had when Paris suburbs were burning or there were mass protest over some cartoons. We'd point, laugh our asses off, and take bets on how long until the French surrender.


- An egotist is someone who thinks they're almost as good as I am.
[ Parent ]
Yeah the only reason to watch soccer... (1.60 / 5) (#42)
by lamppter on Sun Jun 04, 2006 at 11:48:04 AM EST

is to watch all the Mongoloids fight the Neanderthals. The best action is in the stadium.

Naive Bayes Classification and K5 Dupes
[ Parent ]
So... (2.25 / 4) (#142)
by nebbish on Mon Jun 05, 2006 at 11:33:31 AM EST

The last time you watched a football match was what, twenty years ago? Because there's been precious little rioting since then.

---------
Kicking someone in the head is like punching them in the foot - Bruce Lee
[ Parent ]

Pls fix (1.33 / 6) (#27)
by BJH on Sun Jun 04, 2006 at 03:26:20 AM EST

X In 2002, the supporters carried the South Korean team all the way to the bronze match.

O In 2002, the paid-off referees carried the South Korean team all the way to the bronze match.
--
Roses are red, violets are blue.
I'm schizophrenic, and so am I.
-- Oscar Levant

Probably not, though (2.00 / 2) (#37)
by Timo Laine on Sun Jun 04, 2006 at 09:48:17 AM EST

I see what you mean, and I am not saying the referees in 2002 were very good. They made too many bad decisions. But still, I hardly think they accepted bribes. In my opinion, they were just bad referees. Hopefully they have a better bunch this time.

[ Parent ]
Or maybe the refs weren't paid off (2.66 / 6) (#62)
by MrHanky on Sun Jun 04, 2006 at 02:27:10 PM EST

I mean, who lost because of the presumed corruption? Right, the Italians.


"This was great, because it was a bunch of mature players who were able to express themselves and talk politics." Lettuce B-Free, on being a total fucking moron for Ron Paul.
[ Parent ]
SOCCER==Thugs, Thuggery and more thugs (nt) (1.33 / 9) (#51)
by lamppter on Sun Jun 04, 2006 at 12:37:52 PM EST



Naive Bayes Classification and K5 Dupes
-1, spectator sports, opiate of the masses /nt (1.45 / 11) (#60)
by MotorMachineMercenary on Sun Jun 04, 2006 at 02:07:58 PM EST


--
"My mental image of you is Wyatt's brother Chet in Weird Science."
-

If only it were the other way around (1.75 / 4) (#80)
by partialpeople on Sun Jun 04, 2006 at 04:16:02 PM EST

and opiates were the spectator sport of the masses.

[ Parent ]
Yeah, dude. Like, totally /nt (1.33 / 3) (#94)
by MotorMachineMercenary on Sun Jun 04, 2006 at 05:46:00 PM EST


--
"My mental image of you is Wyatt's brother Chet in Weird Science."
- Parent ]

En-ger-laaaand (2.42 / 7) (#63)
by werebear on Sun Jun 04, 2006 at 02:30:23 PM EST

This is going to sound a bit like sour grapes - I'm a Scot and Scotland didn't make it to the world cup.  Also we traditionally always support whomever is playing against England. (Not that anyone in England gives a dam, but thats pretty much gives you the reason we do it too.) I will point out we *are* good losers however (plenty practice). So bearing all that in mind:

I'm happy for England getting to the World Cup ..no - really - well done and all that. However what is driving me up the wall is that Scotland shares pretty much all it's T.V. and radio channels with England and we are now stuck with 24*7 wall to wall England-world-cup-fever.

It started getting annoying a couple of weeks ago. Guys - it *IS* possible to talk about the world cup without mentioning 1966 EVERY THREE SODDING MINUTES.

Every shop, pub and cinema is filled with wall to wall world cup England posters, special England badged offers, discounts, competitions. There is no escape anywhere - as soon as you turn on the TV or walk out the door there it is.

Amusingly a competition to design the England world cup cartoon mascot was won by a Glaswegian boy, who when intereviewed and asked if he hoped England would win naturally said "No !".

This world cup is doing more for the cause of Scottish nationalism than the SNP have achieved in the last three years.

Please for the sake of your northern neighbours - feel free to go as nuts as you like, but stop trying to make us unwillingly participate. We wouldn't expect you guys to put up with it in the (vanishingly unlikely) circumstance that things were the other way around.

It is actually amusing to see how various Scot's politicians are placing themselves with regard to this. Gordon Brown says he supports Engaland because he wants to become prime minister of the whole U.K. He's a Scot == he is almost certainly lying. Nobody actually seriously believes him do they ?

Well. (2.00 / 2) (#69)
by The Diary Section on Sun Jun 04, 2006 at 02:57:23 PM EST

"Britishness" is Gordo's (losing) strategy to get round the West Lothian question.

He isn't fooling anyone.
Spend 10 minutes in the company of an American and you end up feeling like a Keats or a Shelley: Thin, brilliant, suave, and desperate for industrial-scale quantities of opium.
[ Parent ]

Ah the Scottish attitude (3.00 / 8) (#73)
by The Diary Section on Sun Jun 04, 2006 at 03:32:15 PM EST

"The English" are single hive mind obsessed with doing their dour northern cousins down at every available opportunity. "The English" have decided to MAKE you support us in the World Cup. "The English" are forcing you to watch TV programmes made and paid for in England!!!

To be honest, we couldn't care less. End of story. If pushed we'd probably say you've got some nice scenery, two not very good football teams and you invented golf. And thats about it. If the SNP win all that will happen is we'll get a tax cut of about 10%. We don't care. End of. Get it into your wee tartan bonnets! Its all in your own minds.
Spend 10 minutes in the company of an American and you end up feeling like a Keats or a Shelley: Thin, brilliant, suave, and desperate for industrial-scale quantities of opium.
[ Parent ]

I think you missed the point (none / 1) (#89)
by werebear on Sun Jun 04, 2006 at 05:21:05 PM EST

I think you may have missed my point somewhat. We *know* you don't care, and don't hold it against you.

Neither do I think you guys are a hive mind (where did that come from ?) However if you could see your way clear have a wee word with whomever decides to run UK wide tv/radio/promotions that seem to operate under the assumption Scotland (and Wales and N Ireland I assume ...) want thier normal programming & lives interrupted by england football, england football and yet still more england football (In manner of Monty python Spam, spam and more spam) it would be really appreciated, thanks very much if thats not too much bother.

Imagine for a minute ... do you care how Scotland do ? Well, no by your own admission. Now imagine hearing about them 18 times an hour. For two months. Solid.

I'm bored with Wayne Rooneys bloody foot being in every sodding news report. I'm really bored with the 1966 world cup quotes 'they think it's all over'
... PLEASE let it be over ! Or just keep all the England hype down south where we know you guys will appreciate it. Simple - and everyones happy.


[ Parent ]

Its a matter of economics (2.83 / 6) (#99)
by The Diary Section on Sun Jun 04, 2006 at 06:07:31 PM EST

It is not the injustice some people want to portray it as.

Scotland is 1/4 of the Union, no arguments. It is 1/12 of the population and far, far less than 1/12 of GDP or general taxation. There may be more illegal immigrants in England than there are Scots in Scotland.

Between Scotland, NI and Wales you have 3/4 of the Union but only 1/6th of the population, GDP and genearal taxation.

You are simply being unrealistic in your expectations.

There are so few of you you're going to have to accept you get things made for other people. Just like when you go to the cinema because thats very expensive and more people live in teh US they tend to be American films.

Spend 10 minutes in the company of an American and you end up feeling like a Keats or a Shelley: Thin, brilliant, suave, and desperate for industrial-scale quantities of opium.
[ Parent ]

Economics (none / 1) (#118)
by werebear on Mon Jun 05, 2006 at 03:28:44 AM EST

That is certainly a valid argument.

I do take slight issue with your statement that Scotland contributes a lower proprotion of GDP - consider a large chunk of 10% of the UK's overall GDP is still oil (http://www.cia.gov/cia/publications/factbook/geos/uk.html). Funny how that always gets calculated as part of UK GDP instead of Scottish despite the majority being in Scotland.

Wouldn't it be cheaper not to bother running promotions in parts of the UK where takeup will be low ? Couldn't the England frenzy be at least mostly restricted to your regional programming ?
(Look on the bright side - the blessing of regional programming means you guys almost never have to put up with the painfully dull soap opera that is the current Scottish parliment)

England going to the world cup is a regional issue. The most populous region true - but I emphasise *regional*. All I'm saying is England \= UK ...

Bear in mind that the 1/6th of the population you effectively write off (a) still vote (b) take occasional offense at being treated in cavalier fashion (yup, we still remember the poll tax - it got rolled out here first) and (c) have plenty of water. Consider who you might have to buy that from sometime soon :)


[ Parent ]

The solution is: (2.00 / 2) (#122)
by spasticfraggle on Mon Jun 05, 2006 at 04:32:06 AM EST

Be less shit at football.

Then you can whine about incessant coverage of your own "native" players.

--
I'm the straw that broke the camel's back!
[ Parent ]

See, (3.00 / 2) (#145)
by The Diary Section on Mon Jun 05, 2006 at 12:04:32 PM EST

Here is the other problem with "the English". I live in the North. Water? We're perfectly fine thanks.

Spend 10 minutes in the company of an American and you end up feeling like a Keats or a Shelley: Thin, brilliant, suave, and desperate for industrial-scale quantities of opium.
[ Parent ]
Tip: Scotland is part of the UK. (3.00 / 3) (#166)
by CanSpice on Mon Jun 05, 2006 at 03:18:56 PM EST

Funny how that always gets calculated as part of UK GDP instead of Scottish despite the majority being in Scotland.

That's because Scotland is part of the UK.

It sounds like Scots are worse than the Quebecois for being uppity about their nationality.

[ Parent ]

Regional programming (none / 1) (#181)
by werner on Tue Jun 06, 2006 at 04:26:34 AM EST

Err, the World Cup is not regional programming. It's national programming. Regional channels replace things like news and weather, not 8 hours of TV a day. Why should broadcasters in England cause themselves hours and hours of work trying to regionalise several extra hours' TV per day, because a small minority aren't interested? That's up to Scottish broadcasters to take care of. If they don't have the content or interest in regionalising your telly, don't blame us. I can fully understand that it's annoying (I live in Germany, so I'm currently suffering much the same crap as an England fan), but it's not the fault of the English. I think you'll find that the people writing you off are the government (especially every Scotsman's favourite politician, Mrs Thatcher). If you think that the government--and Thatcher in particular--are representative of the English, you don't know many. The fact that Scots can vote, too (in itself unfair, as the English cannot vote in the Scottish elections), has no bearing on any debate with us, and as for any cavalier treatment you feel at the hands of the English, you should feel happy that you aren't subjected to the kind of abuse the English are used to experiencing from Scots.

[ Parent ]
Also, I found this (none / 1) (#182)
by werner on Tue Jun 06, 2006 at 04:48:47 AM EST

England-Scotland border

[ Parent ]
And what's more... (2.00 / 3) (#131)
by rpjs on Mon Jun 05, 2006 at 09:04:13 AM EST

Amen to that, and might I add that if England and Scotland are in a sporting contest together, and England gets kicked out, guess what, most of us will then give the Scots a cheer or two, as they are the remaining Brits in the contest.

This thing the Scots have of supporting "anyone but England" is a) archaic, b) slightly racist, and c) really, really childish.

[ Parent ]

Chips on shoulders (2.66 / 3) (#134)
by daveybaby on Mon Jun 05, 2006 at 10:06:24 AM EST

Can't beat em. Seriously, we dont give a shit. That time scotland were the only Uk team in the finals (1980?) pretty much everyone in england were rooting for scotland to win. Its only people north of the border that seem to have a problem with the 'other half' winning. Funny that innit.

Miserable bunch of cunts.


[ Parent ]

T&T (2.00 / 2) (#165)
by CanSpice on Mon Jun 05, 2006 at 03:15:49 PM EST

I thought Scotland's team this year is Trinidad and Tobago?

[ Parent ]
For those who don't get it, (none / 1) (#221)
by For Whom The Bells Troll on Mon Jun 12, 2006 at 05:38:03 AM EST

clicky linky.

I so looooove explaining jokes.

---
The Big F Word.
[ Parent ]

But Scotland and England are the same country (2.00 / 4) (#203)
by kuroXhin on Wed Jun 07, 2006 at 11:58:31 AM EST

Scotland is just a part of England, just like Wales and Ireland. Why are you so upset?

The Economist - The Playboy of the new world order!
[ Parent ]

Obvious troll ! (N/T) (none / 1) (#217)
by werebear on Thu Jun 08, 2006 at 11:22:24 AM EST



[ Parent ]
What's a troll? (none / 1) (#219)
by kuroXhin on Fri Jun 09, 2006 at 04:17:37 PM EST

Why won't anyone answer my question?

The Economist - The Playboy of the new world order!
[ Parent ]

Ridiculous (2.76 / 13) (#65)
by shambles on Sun Jun 04, 2006 at 02:36:48 PM EST

An article about infecting yourself with hook worm or hosting an orgy can make it to the front page (I voted for both), but a well written article about one of the most watched sports events in the world looks like it's going to go nowhere because that particularly game is not popular in the US.

Why the chauvinism? So it's not a US game, that doesn't mean you can't be mildly interested in it once in four years or appreciate an interesting article. Even if you're only going to watch a few games in your lifetime, why not now when the US team is the strongest it's been in many years?

Personally soccer it's not my sport, I play and watch rugby, but that doesn't mean I can't get caught up in the excitement of this huge event. I watched the Superbowl, the World Series (though as I live in Houston that would have been difficult to ignore) and recently bits of the Western Conference Finals for the same reason.

A few months ago there was an article on K5 where the author deplored the state of geographically knowledge in US schools and school children. The discussions following the story were full of USians protesting that they didn't need to travel or know about the rest of the world as a there was a huge array of different cultures to be appreciated in the US. Fair enough, while I personal think that travel outside your own country is something everybody should do if they can afford it, I know that the US has a wide variety of landscapes and peoples to see. However, ask yourselves; does the reaction to something different shown in the replies below reflect an audience who has experienced different cultures and understood them or one that is so caught up in their own little world they can't see the merit in different ideas.

People are more important than Truth - Edgar Malroy
i voted -1 after reading your comment (1.58 / 12) (#67)
by a brief respite on Sun Jun 04, 2006 at 02:42:33 PM EST

it reminded me of how gay soccer is and why nobody gives a shit about it here.

"[in London] the wrong babes were hidden in black hijabs and long robes on the streets and in the parks."
[ Parent ]

WTF?? (1.71 / 7) (#70)
by lamppter on Sun Jun 04, 2006 at 02:59:58 PM EST

I abstained when I voted on this. Mainly, because I could care less about soccer or "football". I wouldn't know if it was written well or accurate. It belongs in a diary anyway.

Doing a quick search at K5 on super bowl or world series didn't bring up any SP/FB results. Soccer is boring to most USians who consider the sport boring. Joe Six Pack doesn't watch it here. I have tried watching it many times and have friends that I have tried to explain it to me and it still sucks in my opinion. It's low scoring, incites fans to riot and works people up into xenophobia. Hell, it even starts wars! i.e. Guatemala and Honduras.

Soccer brings out the worst in people from what I have seen. Riots between thugs and other drugged out losers. Remember the tragedies that have occured at soccer games? They aren't isolated incidents either.

Enjoy the sport, have fun, bet on it, smash your neighbor in the face if his team beats yours, go and riot. Most USians really don't care except to place bets on how many will get injured during a riot.

Naive Bayes Classification and K5 Dupes
[ Parent ]

Yeah, US fans never riot (none / 1) (#88)
by shambles on Sun Jun 04, 2006 at 05:09:57 PM EST

link

link

And no I'm not saying that violence is not an issue in football, but I am trying to make the point that you can't write off a whole game because of a few incidents. And it is a few incidents, especially when you compare it to the number of people who play the game all over the world. The violence is nothing to do with sport, the violence is because there is certain percentage of the population in every country who are just looking for an excuse for a fight.

People are more important than Truth - Edgar Malroy
[ Parent ]
they don't in stadiums.... (none / 1) (#91)
by lamppter on Sun Jun 04, 2006 at 05:25:43 PM EST



Naive Bayes Classification and K5 Dupes
[ Parent ]
so?$ (none / 1) (#98)
by shambles on Sun Jun 04, 2006 at 05:56:47 PM EST



People are more important than Truth - Edgar Malroy
[ Parent ]
so...the fact remains..... (none / 1) (#102)
by lamppter on Sun Jun 04, 2006 at 06:43:11 PM EST

more wars have been started over soccer, more riots have ocurred because of soccer, racism is more prevelant in soccer and most USians could care less.

More people watch and attend stock car races, go figure.

Naive Bayes Classification and K5 Dupes
[ Parent ]

Even us Canadians riot (none / 1) (#177)
by zenador on Mon Jun 05, 2006 at 10:39:48 PM EST

When the Canucks lost in the Stanley Cup finals in 1994, there was one hell of a riot in the streets of Vancouver. Many a car was tipped.

[ Parent ]
Most USians seem to comment about riots. (2.50 / 2) (#172)
by mr strange on Mon Jun 05, 2006 at 05:57:22 PM EST

I hate football, but I've not heard of any particular problem with violence for ten years or more. I suspect the US media only covers violence, not the game itself. That gives you guys a skewed perspective... one you should be aware of.

intrigued by your idea that fascism is feminine - livus
[ Parent ]
mainly because they're a bit ridiculous (none / 1) (#223)
by Delirium on Mon Jun 12, 2006 at 11:06:31 AM EST

Some of the violence is so egregious that it pretty much demands press coverage, whether you care about the sport or not. Things like being murdered for an own goal don't seem to happen in other sports.

[ Parent ]
Looks like the article will FP (none / 1) (#112)
by nostalgiphile on Sun Jun 04, 2006 at 11:38:02 PM EST

Stop your bitching. We can have both orgies and soccer, even though orgies are better.

"Depending on your perspective you are an optimist or a pessimist[,] and a hopeless one too." --trhurler
[ Parent ]
You're right, I apologise... (none / 1) (#144)
by shambles on Mon Jun 05, 2006 at 11:55:42 AM EST

...it seems I was too quick to condemn.

People are more important than Truth - Edgar Malroy
[ Parent ]
Only. . . (1.85 / 7) (#75)
by IHCOYC on Sun Jun 04, 2006 at 03:49:09 PM EST

. . . if the players are women who take off their shirts like Brandy Chastain did.
--
"Complecti antecessores tuos in spelis stygiis Tartari appara," eructavit miles primus.
"Vix dum basiavisti vicarium velocem Mortis," rediit G
First good reason to watch soccer.... (1.25 / 4) (#76)
by lamppter on Sun Jun 04, 2006 at 03:57:19 PM EST

I have seen yet...if only it would happen.

Naive Bayes Classification and K5 Dupes
[ Parent ]
start your search engines gentlemen (1.00 / 3) (#104)
by The Diary Section on Sun Jun 04, 2006 at 07:05:27 PM EST

you know the Brazilian women's team did a Playboy pictorial a little while back?
Spend 10 minutes in the company of an American and you end up feeling like a Keats or a Shelley: Thin, brilliant, suave, and desperate for industrial-scale quantities of opium.
[ Parent ]
+1 FP, outstanding effort (2.22 / 9) (#77)
by Enlarged to Show Texture on Sun Jun 04, 2006 at 04:00:46 PM EST

This is a well-written piece of work about an event many people around the world will follow. Sadly, this article may not do as well as the author would like, mostly because very few in the US gives a shit about the sport. I, however, do, and I am more than happy to give this story its due.


"Those people who think they know everything are a great annoyance to those of us who do." -- Isaac Asimov
WIPO (1.14 / 14) (#82)
by somaudlin2 on Sun Jun 04, 2006 at 04:19:16 PM EST

I don't fucking care about soccer and your father was kitten.

I really hate soccer (1.95 / 20) (#84)
by Psychology Sucks on Sun Jun 04, 2006 at 04:44:56 PM EST

Playing soccer is difficult, insofar that it requires unbelievable amounts of endurance.  

However, WATCHING soccer is UNBELIEVABLY boring.  I don't understand this obsession with watching NOTHING HAPPEN (well, okay, usually 3-4 mentionable things happen over the course of the entire game, at most).  Almost no scoring, nothing but kicking a ball back and forth.

American football (I can see how Rugby would be, too, though I don't have any experience playing or watching it) is WAY more exciting.  Crunching blows, unbelievably complex, detailed strategies and an inordinate number of plays, extremely specialized positions, a variety of methods of scoring, etc.

American "football" (2.12 / 8) (#86)
by MrHanky on Sun Jun 04, 2006 at 04:53:58 PM EST

is 100% pure faggotry. I can see how you may feel "excited" by it, perv.


"This was great, because it was a bunch of mature players who were able to express themselves and talk politics." Lettuce B-Free, on being a total fucking moron for Ron Paul.
[ Parent ]
LOL, yes (2.25 / 4) (#103)
by Psychology Sucks on Sun Jun 04, 2006 at 06:46:01 PM EST

Okay, I admit it, I only watch it for the butt-spanking.

[ Parent ]
The thing that puts you off (2.77 / 9) (#92)
by tetsuwan on Sun Jun 04, 2006 at 05:34:34 PM EST

It appears you find soccer uninteresting because of the low number of scores. And you seems to believe that there's less depth of strategy in soccer. The latter point is right in so far there are fewer brakes in the play to execute trained strategies. On the other hand, live play in American football is dull. Once someone starts running with the ball it can only end in a few ways.

Most things in soccer come from very fast decisions. The interaction between top soccer players can be on a fantastic high level. And the number of ways to direct the ball into the goal are innumerable.

As for the low number of scoring events - this is compensated by a large number of almost scoring events. The most unnerving game I've watch was Sweden - Argentine in Japan 2002. The Swedish team weren't supposed to beat them, but they held the Argentinian assault at bay for the duration of the game. The match ended in a draw, which got Sweden to the second round, but not Argentine.

Njal's Saga: Just like Romeo & Juliet without the romance
[ Parent ]

Rebuttal (none / 1) (#156)
by rpresser on Mon Jun 05, 2006 at 01:41:02 PM EST

And the number of ways to direct the ball into the goal are innumerable.

Yet most of them fail.

As for the low number of scoring events - this is compensated by a large number of almost scoring events.

Does this mean that the goalie is more important than every other player on the team?

------------
"In terms of both hyperbolic overreaching and eventual wrongness, the Permanent [Republican] Majority has set a new, and truly difficult to beat, standard." --rusty
[ Parent ]

The goalkeeper is possibly most important (3.00 / 2) (#160)
by tetsuwan on Mon Jun 05, 2006 at 02:31:33 PM EST

But many almost scoring events do not involve the goalkeeper. However, a bad goalkeeper can ruin a team, while a great one (like Oliver Kahn) can take a team very far. But the support the defensive players gives the goalkeeper is crucial - if the attacking team gets free access to the area directly in front of the goal, no keeper can prevent scoring.

The difficulty of scoring and the highly advanced offensive playing styles with multiple subsecond ball redirections is a joy to watch for billions of people. I hardly think I can convince you, though. I haven't picked up a spectator sport since first grade, except for possibly sumo wrestling.

Njal's Saga: Just like Romeo & Juliet without the romance
[ Parent ]

Football is about quality, not quantity (2.00 / 2) (#140)
by nebbish on Mon Jun 05, 2006 at 11:23:03 AM EST

It's difficult to score and you need all the teamwork, strategy and individual skill you can muster. Where's the excitement if scoring's easy?

---------
Kicking someone in the head is like punching them in the foot - Bruce Lee
[ Parent ]

you are hilarious! (2.60 / 5) (#171)
by RelliK on Mon Jun 05, 2006 at 04:50:22 PM EST

I don't understand this obsession with watching NOTHING HAPPEN

I think you are confusing soccer with baseball.

American football ... is WAY more exciting. Crunching blows, unbelievably complex, detailed strategies

Yeah. Unbelievably complex, detailed strategies of uhhh... pushing and shoving!
---
Under capitalism man exploits man, under communism it's just the opposite.
[ Parent ]

Hey, I like Cricket Test matches (3.00 / 5) (#175)
by sholden on Mon Jun 05, 2006 at 09:12:11 PM EST

And you claim NOTHING HAPPENs in soccer?

Watch a 5 day test match and get back to me :)

--
The world's dullest web page


[ Parent ]
Re: I really hate soccer (2.33 / 3) (#183)
by drsmithy on Tue Jun 06, 2006 at 07:49:24 AM EST

Playing soccer is difficult, insofar that it requires unbelievable amounts of endurance.

Not to mention more co-ordination than pretty much any other sport.

American football (I can see how Rugby would be, too, though I don't have any experience playing or watching it) is WAY more exciting. Crunching blows, unbelievably complex, detailed strategies and an inordinate number of plays, extremely specialized positions, a variety of methods of scoring, etc.

American Football is very boring to watch, if you're interested in anything except watching a slightly more complicated version of that party game where people get dressed up in those big sumo suits. Even then, Rugby is far more entertaining and compelling sport if your interest is watching a brawl with a ball.

Watching American Football is like watching chess. Sure, there is "strategy", but it plays out so slowly and predictably, it's not compelling at all to watch.

In Soccer, not only is the strategy comprehensive and field-wide (rather than a tiny portion of it), but it's *dynamic*, requiring players to continually think on their toes.

If you haven't played soccer, it's unlikely you'll be able to enjoy watching it. Without a "feel" for how the game moves and how incredibly difficult the level of ball control top players have is, you can't really appreciate "The Beautiful Game".

The secret to soccer's popularity is that it covers the entire spectrum of abilities. Pretty much anyone can get together with some mates and kick a ball around, but the level of athleticism and, in particular, co-ordination required to play at the elite level is, IMHO, unmatched in any other sport.

[ Parent ]

american football = nap time (2.00 / 2) (#192)
by thankyougustad on Tue Jun 06, 2006 at 02:05:33 PM EST

can't wait to see a bunch of knuckleheads move two feet every fifteen minutes while fatass John Madden talks about potato chips. At least in soccor, like in basketball, people keep moving.

No no thanks no
Je n'aime que le bourbon
no no thanks no
c'est une affaire de got.

[ Parent ]
+1, SP -- We need more sports here. $ (1.55 / 9) (#85)
by akostic on Sun Jun 04, 2006 at 04:53:03 PM EST


--
"After an indeterminate amount of time trading insane laughter with the retards, I grew curious and tapped on the window." - osm
-1 spectator sports suck (1.72 / 18) (#90)
by A synx on Sun Jun 04, 2006 at 05:21:19 PM EST

Stop prostletyzing the new religion, please. They're not team players, they're cult figureheads.  There is nothing we have to respect for someone kicking a ball through a goal. You talk about what Brazil did and what Ukraine has going for them, but your words are empty and hollow. You're part of a sadistic campaign to manipulate our attention away from what's really happening in Brazil and the Ukraine, and towards a gratuitous and pointless sports game.  By devoting your time, and yourself to football, you are making it easy to ignore the issues that really matter.  By expecting me to be interested, you are trying to indocrinate me into some assumed paradigm where sports actually make a difference in the grand scheme of things and isn't just a hollow, corporate-sponsored diversion of our society away from the issues that matter.

you fucking morons don't get it (1.42 / 7) (#129)
by circletimessquare on Mon Jun 05, 2006 at 07:20:51 AM EST

"By devoting your time, and yourself to football, you are making it easy to ignore the issues that really matter."

soccer IS THE SOLUTION TO THE PROBLEMS THAT BOTHER YOU

soccer bores the fuck out of me

but you're forgetting that soccer and all of the xenophobic nationalist racism and belligerence and empty idolation and obsession that surrounds it effectively replaces the need for war in europe

so let the euros have their useless soccer you prick, or what?

fuck, you want them invading poland again?

SOCCER REPLACES WAR IN EUROPE

THEREFORE, SOCCER IS A GOOD THING


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

CTS's true colors slide into view (2.85 / 7) (#157)
by rpresser on Mon Jun 05, 2006 at 01:43:06 PM EST

He doesn't really care about peace, or justice, or any of those things. What he likes best is a quiescent population.
------------
"In terms of both hyperbolic overreaching and eventual wrongness, the Permanent [Republican] Majority has set a new, and truly difficult to beat, standard." --rusty
[ Parent ]
shit, you got me (1.00 / 4) (#158)
by circletimessquare on Mon Jun 05, 2006 at 02:21:16 PM EST

now i won't get those checks from FIFA, i've been ratted out

fuck


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

What's your excuse (none / 1) (#180)
by werner on Tue Jun 06, 2006 at 04:04:32 AM EST

for waging war hither and thither, then?

[ Parent ]
this is (none / 1) (#190)
by circletimessquare on Tue Jun 06, 2006 at 11:54:58 AM EST

http://www.kuro5hin.org/story/2005/12/21/21244/723

The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]
Very good work (2.20 / 5) (#109)
by debacle on Sun Jun 04, 2006 at 08:29:02 PM EST

And incredibly well-timed.

Sadly, I do not have cable. :(

Also, I appreciate the fact that, while there is personal commentary, it's kept to a minimum.

It tastes sweet.

Of course, Brazil will win... (2.28 / 7) (#111)
by ivancruz on Sun Jun 04, 2006 at 10:27:15 PM EST

because the piramid says so:

http://www.novomilenio.inf.br/ano02/0205e037.htm

Sorry, could not find an english site. By the way, the first time I saw the pyramid was in a eMail, before world cup 2002.

Enjoy... ;-)


______________________________________
Eu vou, eu vou vender a minha v, Eu vou vender a minha v, A minha v filosofia.(Zeca Baleiro)

I love football but... (2.00 / 6) (#130)
by onealone on Mon Jun 05, 2006 at 08:16:44 AM EST

this article is just inane, badly written, and shows only a superficial knowledge of the subject. -1.

+1FP, World Cup (2.40 / 5) (#137)
by nebbish on Mon Jun 05, 2006 at 11:12:01 AM EST

For any betting people out there, USA has brilliant odds. They probably won't go all the way, but are the best team I've ever seen with odds of 100-1.

---------
Kicking someone in the head is like punching them in the foot - Bruce Lee

Still feel that way? (none / 1) (#225)
by toulouse on Mon Jun 12, 2006 at 07:37:59 PM EST


--
'My god...it's full of blogs.' - ktakki
--


[ Parent ]
I voted -1 because soccer sucks ass (1.33 / 12) (#139)
by Lies of Society on Mon Jun 05, 2006 at 11:22:24 AM EST

LOL, 0-0 ties? What a stupid, stupid sport.

not only that but.... (none / 1) (#149)
by lamppter on Mon Jun 05, 2006 at 12:18:27 PM EST

In professional competition, no one gets a score > 7; if >= 7; { 0};

You automatically lose the game.

Naive Bayes Classification and K5 Dupes
[ Parent ]

Automatic lose at 7? No! (2.00 / 3) (#179)
by kralizec on Tue Jun 06, 2006 at 03:47:28 AM EST

I remember at least one instances where the score was 12-1 in an official match (1983-21-12), classification series for 1984 European Championship). This is so because there are instances where the goal average matters. IIRC, in that match Spain needed to score 11 goals more than Malta in order to classify (of course, rumours of gamed match are most welcome).

---
Un sot toujours trouve un plus sot qui l'admire
[ Parent ]

I have never understood (none / 1) (#184)
by drsmithy on Tue Jun 06, 2006 at 09:43:53 AM EST

The immaturity of people who "must have a result".

I can confidently some of the best soccer games I have ever watched - or played in - ended in draws (or would have if it weren't for obsceneties like penalty shootouts, or sudden-death extra time).

Sometimes, no-one wins because no competitor is meaningfully better than the other(s). Instead of rigging the game just to get a result for the sake of childish "fans" - or even worse, prizemoney and sponsorship - a balanced sport should reflect this and not attempt to circumvent it.

If you can't handle that concept, then you should be visiting the casino or watching a boxing match, because it's clear you're not interested in the sport itself.

[ Parent ]

-1, spectator sports suck (1.00 / 8) (#146)
by rpresser on Mon Jun 05, 2006 at 12:07:22 PM EST

Oh wait, somebody else already posted that comment. Damn.
------------
"In terms of both hyperbolic overreaching and eventual wrongness, the Permanent [Republican] Majority has set a new, and truly difficult to beat, standard." --rusty
what is hilarious are all the Eurotrash... (1.33 / 15) (#147)
by lamppter on Mon Jun 05, 2006 at 12:11:26 PM EST

zeroing the trolls out.

I actually abstained from this story. Let them have some fun with this. LOLLERZ.

Naive Bayes Classification and K5 Dupes

Probably as there isn't a button (2.80 / 5) (#152)
by spasticfraggle on Mon Jun 05, 2006 at 01:13:02 PM EST

for "Since you can't shut the hell up whilst the grown ups are talking, I'm taking a dump in your breakfast cereal", zero has to suffice.

--
I'm the straw that broke the camel's back!
[ Parent ]
eeewwwwwww (nt) (none / 1) (#154)
by lamppter on Mon Jun 05, 2006 at 01:32:18 PM EST



Naive Bayes Classification and K5 Dupes
[ Parent ]
hi, i'm an american redneck (2.00 / 2) (#161)
by circletimessquare on Mon Jun 05, 2006 at 02:36:06 PM EST

and i just zeroed your comment

xoxoxoxoxoxox


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

awww CTS...thx! (2.00 / 2) (#162)
by lamppter on Mon Jun 05, 2006 at 02:58:32 PM EST

but my neck is redder actually.

Naive Bayes Classification and K5 Dupes
[ Parent ]
-1, BOOOOOOOOORING (1.00 / 8) (#151)
by Rohypnol or GHB on Mon Jun 05, 2006 at 01:00:58 PM EST

go post this to some sports site.

oh, wait, you can't because there's NO ACTUAL INFO HERE!

+1 FP; World Cup (1.50 / 2) (#167)
by hesk on Mon Jun 05, 2006 at 03:39:51 PM EST

I'm, of course, rooting for my local heros, say Germany 2 : Brazil 1.

Also, championchip match in my home town and as a bonus, tickets to a Seeed concert that very evening. w00t, w00t!

--
Sticking to the rules doesn't improve your safety, relying on the rules is

Hey Congrats! (1.45 / 11) (#174)
by lamppter on Mon Jun 05, 2006 at 08:37:36 PM EST

actually I will quit trolling the article.

I got 4 of my comments "hidden". I failed it miserably as a troll. No more for me.

It was well written and reads well.

Naive Bayes Classification and K5 Dupes

You Forgot to mention... (2.00 / 5) (#185)
by thefirelane on Tue Jun 06, 2006 at 10:38:33 AM EST

One of Germany's most powerful strategies: Having the defenders use their hands to block US players shots.

Sorry, just bitter... USA USA!

-
Prube.com: Like K5, but with less point.
For those modding me down... (2.50 / 2) (#198)
by thefirelane on Tue Jun 06, 2006 at 10:58:20 PM EST

http://www.worldcupjapankorea.com/photo_gallery/qfinals/germany_fussball_handbal l.jpg

-
Prube.com: Like K5, but with less point.
[ Parent ]
Whoa! I thought we had lost by a lot more (none / 1) (#204)
by nlscb on Wed Jun 07, 2006 at 12:59:07 PM EST

Somehow I thought that game was 3-0. I never even heard about the German player using his arm to block the ball going in.

I guess we can commiserate w/the English over our "hand of god" - that is if we really cared that much.

I wonder how the rest of the world would react if we won, or at least upset one of the top teams, and then saw no one celebrating in the US because we didn't really care. Would that be the last straw after Iraq?

Comment Search has returned - Like a beaten wife, I am pathetically grateful. - mr strange
[ Parent ]

No. (2.50 / 2) (#205)
by aphrael on Wed Jun 07, 2006 at 01:04:18 PM EST

That game was incredibly close. The US ran Germany ragged (they had an older team than we did, but still).

It was the first international soccer match where American fans could legitimately have looked at the game and gone "wow. we have a great team."

[ Parent ]

Yeah... (none / 1) (#206)
by thefirelane on Wed Jun 07, 2006 at 01:38:32 PM EST

We just barely missed a header too. It hit the side of the net instead of inside... causing many fans a lot of joy then dissapointment

-
Prube.com: Like K5, but with less point.
[ Parent ]
This is truly fascinating. (1.10 / 20) (#186)
by kitten on Tue Jun 06, 2006 at 11:00:22 AM EST

I can't wait to see which group of complete, total strangers who happened to have been born in one country, can kick a ball better than which other group of complete, total strangers from another country.

I also can't wait for the ravenous, frothing-at-the-mouth "sports fans" to pretend that the outcome somehow makes a difference to their lives.

Finally, I can't wait for someone to talk about how football is "the beautiful game". The beauty of rampant nationalism, fervent jingoism, borderline racism, rioting, and vandalism. Brings a tear to my eye.
mirrorshades radio - darkwave, synthpop, industrial, futurepop.
Miserable bugger $ (2.58 / 12) (#188)
by nebbish on Tue Jun 06, 2006 at 11:26:19 AM EST


---------
Kicking someone in the head is like punching them in the foot - Bruce Lee
[ Parent ]

Yeah, "miserable" (1.14 / 7) (#210)
by kitten on Wed Jun 07, 2006 at 05:36:04 PM EST

I'm really miserable that I'm not dealing with sports "fans" sitting on the sofa stuffing suet into their fat faces and pounding each other on the back because "their" team did better than some other team. Who gives a shit.
mirrorshades radio - darkwave, synthpop, industrial, futurepop.
[ Parent ]
It's fun! (2.00 / 3) (#213)
by nebbish on Thu Jun 08, 2006 at 07:57:33 AM EST

It's a game! If you don't like it, shut up and do something else, don't whinge.

---------
Kicking someone in the head is like punching them in the foot - Bruce Lee
[ Parent ]

Uh huh. (1.75 / 8) (#214)
by kitten on Thu Jun 08, 2006 at 09:51:06 AM EST

I'm aware it's a game, thanks. What I object to is the constant barrage of crap I have to hear about the stupid game. It's not something I can just walk away from. It's at work, it's at the coffee shop, it's at the bar, it's at the club, it's at the bookstore, it's on the radio, it's on the internet. Unless I want to lock myself in a closet for a month, I can't get away from fucktards who think everyone around them must give a shit about their idiotic game.

I also think, on a more serious level, that it is really, really sad how much money and effort and time from millions of people is dumped into the pursuit of something that is, in the end, so very utterly worthless. If people put a tenth as much into something useful or artistic as they did into sports, I imagine we'd all be better off.

But no, instead of improving ourselves, or others, or expanding our intellectual or creative horizons, or even engaging in athletic pursuits of our own, let's all sit idly by, drink until we can't see straight, and gibber endlessly about which team of total strangers might kick a ball better than another team of total strangers.

Idiotic.
mirrorshades radio - darkwave, synthpop, industrial, futurepop.
[ Parent ]
Not being able to get away from it (1.66 / 3) (#215)
by nebbish on Thu Jun 08, 2006 at 10:32:03 AM EST

would suck a bit if you're not interested, I concurr. But it gives a lot of people a lot of joy, I'd rather spend money on that than... well, pretty much anything.

---------
Kicking someone in the head is like punching them in the foot - Bruce Lee
[ Parent ]

Well (1.33 / 6) (#216)
by kitten on Thu Jun 08, 2006 at 11:08:28 AM EST

"Enjoyment" is relative, and be careful about saying it's worth spending money on. Crap reality shows like American Joe Wants To Marry A Millionaire Survivor also give a lot of people joy. Do you honestly think shit like that is worth the time and money people throw at it?

Could it be that they only enjoy it because they've never tried / been exposed to / been made to think about anything better?

I find that a lot of sports fans really have very base, average life experience. I suspect part of the reason they enjoy watching sports so much is because it is, sadly, the most exciting thing they've seen or done.

I can forgive a bit of sports-watching as entertainment or a bit of competitive spirit, but people take it way, way beyond that. They'll natter about, say, the Atlanta Braves, and how it's "their team". (The players, of course, are traded around at will and few, if any, are actually from Atlanta, and even if they were, so fucking what?) They schedule their work and social life around the game schedule. They talk about it endlessly. They get emotional -- sad, sometimes angry -- when the team loses. They funnel millions of dollars to organizations devoted to talking about sports, not even playing it -- a bunch of fat overhyped idiots talking about this or that team's strategy this year ("I think they're going to try to win!" "Yes, I think so too!").

Can you honestly not think of any other outlet for all this energy that would be both more beneficial and bring more joy to people?

Even stuff like this article bothers me. This guy spent how many hours analyzing information culled from how many hours of other people's work, to put together an article which states the blindingly fucking obvious:
Every country in the Cup is sending the best players they can. They all hope they'll win, but in the end, only one will.
Are you seriously suggesting there is nothing else out there on which this time could have been better spent

I'd hazard to say that even video games are more productive than watching sports. At least then, the person is doing something and the win or loss is their own.
mirrorshades radio - darkwave, synthpop, industrial, futurepop.
[ Parent ]
Retard (2.80 / 5) (#226)
by Aneurin on Wed Jun 14, 2006 at 09:49:41 AM EST

You're spending precious time bitching about sport so one can only assume you have had a very base, below-average life experience so far.

If it bothers you so much, why the fuck are you even in this story? I suggest masturbation, that would be beneficial and would bring more joy to yourself.

You can thank me afterwards.
---
Just think: the entire Internet, running on jazz. -Canthros

[ Parent ]

Maybe I can help (2.25 / 4) (#218)
by dollyknot on Thu Jun 08, 2006 at 01:06:56 PM EST

I am a Brit and my national sport is football and I detest football, but hate patriotism with an equal vehemence. So any festival that involves the whole world I go for. Any whole world activity that does not involve bombs and bullets, has got to be better than blowing bits of the world up. So ask yourself what would you prefer - the world cup, or world war III. I for one look forward to being over the moon and sick as a parrot.
They call it an elephant's trunk, whereas it is in fact an elephant's nose - a nose by any other name would smell as sweetly.
[ Parent ]
oh noooooo! (none / 1) (#230)
by Comrade Wonderful on Thu Jun 15, 2006 at 10:14:39 AM EST

Society won't let you get away from it! :(

[ Parent ]
More football comments (none / 1) (#187)
by dollyknot on Tue Jun 06, 2006 at 11:01:20 AM EST

Some of the readers of the comments here, might enjoy some of the comments on football, specifically about Peter Crouches robot dance, after scoring a goal over on fark.com

click here to enjoy.


They call it an elephant's trunk, whereas it is in fact an elephant's nose - a nose by any other name would smell as sweetly.

"the only team playing soccer" (3.00 / 6) (#194)
by coljac on Tue Jun 06, 2006 at 06:40:19 PM EST

Don't forget the Socceroos. Australia has several types of "football", so we definitely call it soccer.


Of course, we're in the same group as Brazil so pretty shortly you will be able to forget about the Socceroos.

---
Whether or not life is discovered there I think Jupiter should be declared an enemy planet. - Jack Handey

Thanks (2.50 / 2) (#200)
by Timo Laine on Wed Jun 07, 2006 at 02:02:17 AM EST

I did not think of that. It seems that "soccer" is also widely used in South Africa and Canada, so it's not just an American thing.

[ Parent ]
and Ireland (2.50 / 2) (#222)
by Delirium on Mon Jun 12, 2006 at 11:05:07 AM EST

Not as 100%, but "football" can also mean Gaelic football, so "soccer" is pretty common.

As for Canada, it's so exclusively "soccer" there that even the French-Canadians call it le soccer, instead of the European-French le foot.

[ Parent ]

The UK stands alone... (2.66 / 3) (#233)
by leviramsey on Mon Jun 19, 2006 at 02:54:38 AM EST

...on the list of Anglospheric nations with significant European-descended populations where the association code is the dominant football code; rugby and its derivatives (though American football can claim lineage from both rugby and association... it depends on which early college football games you want to consider football) have been dominant. Cricket has also exported better than football within the anglosphere.

I suppose that the historical class allegiances to the different sports has something to do with it...



[ Parent ]
Well done, Socceroos! (2.50 / 2) (#236)
by nkyad on Thu Jun 22, 2006 at 05:08:38 PM EST

Good for you the predictable defeat against us (Brazil) wasn't so bad. And if the ref was a bit fairer you'd have won against Croatia, too.

Now, the next game won't be easy, but Italy has yet to show something better than a solid defence - if the US team could draw them, it is not so impossible for Australia to win its way ahead.

Don't believe in anything you can't see, smell, touch or at the very least infer from a good particle accelerator run


[ Parent ]
What the hell is up with Ronaldo? (none / 1) (#237)
by The Diary Section on Thu Jun 22, 2006 at 10:32:42 PM EST

He played better today but something is clealy wrong.
Spend 10 minutes in the company of an American and you end up feeling like a Keats or a Shelley: Thin, brilliant, suave, and desperate for industrial-scale quantities of opium.
[ Parent ]
He's fat $ (2.00 / 2) (#238)
by bml on Fri Jun 23, 2006 at 09:01:51 AM EST



The Internet is vast, and contains many people. This is the way of things. -- Russell Dovey
[ Parent ]
But Canada won already in 2004 (1.75 / 4) (#197)
by nlscb on Tue Jun 06, 2006 at 09:34:54 PM EST

You know, K5s standards are really slipping. The wrong news two years late.

Comment Search has returned - Like a beaten wife, I am pathetically grateful. - mr strange

Es war so schn (1.66 / 3) (#220)
by wm06 on Sat Jun 10, 2006 at 03:50:20 AM EST

Wer hätte das gedacht! Wir sind wieder da! Jajaja, die Abwehr, aber was für ein Sturm! Was für ein frisches Team! Klinsmann ist Gott!

The Yankees, it seems, are going home early (2.50 / 4) (#224)
by nkyad on Mon Jun 12, 2006 at 07:11:01 PM EST

Some hours ago the USA team has, for all practical effects, been sent back home by the Czech Republic (3 X 0 in a quite good game, for the Czechs anyway). Yes, there are two more games, anything can happen and such, but after today's performance it seems very unlikely USA can beat Italy. They may offer an even game to Gana, deciding the group's third place, but that will be it.

The truth, I think, is that after its 2002 very good and unexpected advance, the USA ceased to be considered a "little league" team. So, the Czechs did what they had to do: they presented the US team with their best tactical formation and played all the time as if the opposing team was superior. The result wasn't a massacre only because the Czechs, while very focused and well-trainned, are good but not brilliant.

USA main problem from now on is to convince themselves that they had indeed left the little league and that not one of the main teams will enter a match with the USA thinking it is already won - all of them will play the US as an equal and try to make every US mistake into a opportunity to score (notice that when Brazil, Germany, England and Argentine, to name a few, play among themselves, the games are usually decided by very small details and very small mistakes).

Don't believe in anything you can't see, smell, touch or at the very least infer from a good particle accelerator run


Yeah, I think you have a point. (2.33 / 3) (#227)
by aphrael on Wed Jun 14, 2006 at 06:07:34 PM EST

The US team is now considered a real team, so other teams take them seriously and do their research.

This is a good thing: even if we don't make it out.

[ Parent ]

But then again I may not (have a point) (2.33 / 3) (#232)
by nkyad on Sat Jun 17, 2006 at 05:10:48 PM EST

Surprinsingly, the Usians decided enough is enough and played like grown-ups against Italy, extracting a draw (it could have been a victory, had some players been a little more calm and cautious) that still gives them a small but quite concrete chance to go through.

Their problem now is facing Ghana without their best team (Ghana lost two players too, with two yellow cards, but they are quite confident after beating the Czechs).

I say Ghana and Italy now have better odds to go on, but this group is wide open.

Don't believe in anything you can't see, smell, touch or at the very least infer from a good particle accelerator run


[ Parent ]
WAR DECLARED IN Europe (1.00 / 3) (#239)
by lamppter on Sat Jun 24, 2006 at 08:28:30 PM EST

skinheads vs. skinheads! AWESOME!

Another prediction: before it is all over with Germans will blame the heat again and vow to invade Poland! (after drinking copious amounts of beer and cheap wine.

Naive Bayes Classification and K5 Dupes

crazy (none / 1) (#241)
by reklaw on Sun Jul 02, 2006 at 07:57:25 AM EST

Who would have predicted that Brazil wouldn't get any further than England? Both done for in the quarter finals.
-
you make the dumbest comments (none / 1) (#242)
by bushmanburn on Thu Jul 27, 2006 at 11:10:15 PM EST

what a dumb fuck.

World Cup 2006: A Preview | 242 comments (178 topical, 64 editorial, 5 hidden)
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